Match honours South Shields and Boldon cricket stalwart Bill

South Shields Cricket Club chairman jim Elliott with First XI team members Sam Embleton, Chris Stewart and Michael Dunn, with one of Bill Parker's old bats, which has been into a comemorative trophy for the event.
South Shields Cricket Club chairman jim Elliott with First XI team members Sam Embleton, Chris Stewart and Michael Dunn, with one of Bill Parker's old bats, which has been into a comemorative trophy for the event.
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South Shields and Westoe Cricket Club has paid tribute to one of its most prolific batsmen.

A special charity day was held yesterday to honour Bill Parker and to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Bill was a very big character in the club

Jim Elliott

Bill, a former teacher in South Shields and then at Bow School in Durham, died in February aged 68.

He had suffered from Alzheimer’s for the past five years.

It had been hoped yesterday’s event would take the form of two 20/20 matches, with a team made up of past players from South Shields and Boldon taking on a Durham over 50s/60s team before South Shields went head-to-head with Boldon for the WBP Parker Memorial Trophy – one of Bill’s old bats, in a glass case.

The bad weather put paid to the veterans match, but South Shields ran out winners of the main event, posting a total of 126 to Boldon’s 121.

Cricket section chairman Jim Elliott said it had been a fitting match to remember Bill: “It went right down to the last ball – it was a fantastic game.”

Bill had been an enormously popular presence at the club, said Jim.

He added: “He was the club’s second ever leading run scorer, with 16,100-and-odd runs over something like 30 years, and he was one of the very last players who captained both first teams at rugby and cricket.

“These days the two are completely separate sports but the 70s and 80s when Bill played, there was more cross-over.

“The seasons allowed it and it wasn’t as demanding as it is now.

“Bill was a very big character in the club and as a teacher he coached both rugby and cricket.

“He put a lot of effort into everything he did.

“It was very sad that we lost him this year, but now we have got the trophy and we are going to play for that every year.

“Bill did have an association with Boldon – he played third team cricket there – so maybe next year we will play at Boldon.”